Sunday, August 3, 2008

Guest Blogger Post RE: Joe Ferraina

Taking us up on our offer to post articles from guest bloggers, the Long Branch Advocate offers the following article received in our email:

Thoughts on recent posts and published articles regarding Joe Ferraina and the LB Board of Education.

Not for nothing, but has anyone considered how many board members' children are employed by the district? In addition, if you consider how JMF is constantly playing musical chairs with administrators AND teachers, you wonder why the schools aren't working (look at Board agendas at the end of every school year with transfers noted). When I was growing up in LB, my siblings and I had the same teachers, the same curriculum, etc.until Middle School, where JMF was already wreaking his havoc as Principal.

Now in Long Branch, the guy has people fearing for their jobs, their children's jobs, etc. You disagree with him, he'll move to an undesirable position. Talk to people who have retired or resigned from key positions in the past five years. That much power doesn't belong in any organization, much less one with the primary objective of educating children. Decisions in that district are wrought with nepotism, rewards for the loyal and punitary action for the defiant. It is sad.

I'm more disgusted with the state of the school system given his obscene compensation than I am with his unethical dealings - but he runs the place like a Mafia Don and the Board does nothing - you wonder if it's out of fear.

When was the last time a Board member voted no on his compensation package or any measure proposed by him? If he's such a visionary, why are our schools failing? Consider the district's scores from the early 90s prior to his promotion to Superintendent -- are they any better or are they worse? If you're going to do some digging, I'd start there.

(Why would I admit who I was? Someone I am barely linked to might lose their job.)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for touching the tip of the iceberg, Guest Blogger. Besides the transfers, the behind-the-scenes teacher beratings, schools failing under No Child Left Behind, and inappropriate dealings with board members and school contractors, let's not forget about "Wave of Hope", Joe Ferraina's personal "philanthropic arm". While other districts' educational foundation funds are pumped back into the schools in the forms of scholarships, playground equipment, school assemblies, field trips, and other STUDENT amenities, "Wave of Hope's" only purpose is to bring publicity to Ferraina due to his "good works".
"Wave of Hope" is off-line from all other school accounts, with an accountability to no one except Ferraina himself. Even the school board doesn't have a clue how the money is raised or where it goes, and neither does the public nor those who raise money for it. Money is taken in, and no receipts are given out. All decisions on what the money is spent on is made by one man -- JMF.
The dollars for this fund are raised on the backs of administrators and non-tenured teachers, whose superiors "highly recommend" that they participate in the fundraising, with the inference being a form of "quid pro quo" towards tenure for those teachers. Either "pay or play" -- pay with your job or play the game by raising money for the fund or giving some of your own towards it. Illegal at best, unethical at worst.
A few years ago, JMF sent a memo to all LB staff members, requesting that they "donate" a portion of their salaries towards Wave Of Hope. I wonder how many people were strongarmed into that arrangement.
With the latest revelation of Ferraina's ownership in three horses and the lack of accountability, one has to wonder if fund money isn't used to pay for horse trainers and hot walkers rather than for "good works".
Makes you wonder, doesn't it?. . .

Anonymous said...

The man is slime. What are you going to do?

Big Whitey said...

So what can be done about the BOE and Ferraina now that we know all this. We need to publish the meeting times and election dates. And why are school bus's still all over the city in summertime.

Dan Mulligan said...

I love the blog keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

We can complain all we want about the board of ed and the school administration, but at the end it’s our fault why these public officials abuse the system. Hardly anyone votes, no one attends the board of ed meetings and no one runs for the board of ed. The board of ed candidates run uncontested year after year. We can’t keep blaming the crooks; they are just going to keep stealing from us (it's in their nature). If someone breaks into your house when you are not home and they seal from you, chances are you are going to get an alarm to keep it from happening again, right? Well the board of ed and the school administration has been stealing from us for years now, why haven’t we put a system to keep it from happening? I guess it’s easier to complain about it. If I could put it any clearer I would have to quote what the “visionary” has said to the APP in the past “IT’S LEGAL”…………Who cares about morals…

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the expose on the visionary. I have seen things that make me physically ill at LBBOE, but if you think just getting out is easy, let me assure you, his "tentacles" reach far - he can sabotage your being hired in another district, and has done it many times. I have been on the receiving end of his wrath - had stipends taken away, transfer after transfer, just for questioning "the man" - Wow, he is going to have to burn off a lot of Karma in the next life. PS - The next time you hear Mr. Visionary say "it's for the children", run for the hills and hide your wallet. Rest assured it is only for this own personal aggrandizment and enrichment.

Anonymous said...

The guy has brought 100 times his salary in other peoples money into Long Branch to fund your schools. Do you think you would have gotten that much unearned and unneeded money without him. We will gladly take him in Monmouth Beach.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous -

He didn't bring in other people's money: Abbott vs. Burke brought it in.

We have become addicted to the money and we shouldn't have it.

It isn't fair to you or to us.

1. If you think JMF is so great maybe you can woo him away from us. He will only expect a salary of $350,000 per year to leave us.

2. We had to be designated as an Abbott district to get that money. . . a poor, urban district. Is that how you want YOUR town classified?

Jim Baccus
Long Branch

Anonymous said...

Monmouth Beach, he's all yours!!

Anonymous said...

Please tell us what we can do about it? We must establish a committee to advocate, publicize and get people to vote in these elections so we can send him and the entire board that supports him packing! How do we pull together to get them out? Suggestions? action? ....I'm all ears!

Anonymous said...

Not only do we need to get people to VOTE. . .we need to get good, honest, and ethical people to RUN FOR THE BOARD. . .and I don't mean just three people for the next school election (in April 2009). The LBBOE needs a bulletproof majority (all 9 members) who will stand up and vote down any recommendations that the superintendent makes that does not come with any justification other than him saying "trust me".

Anonymous said...

I think we need to stand together and force him out somehow...I'm sick of my taxes going up every year and the majority of it goes to schools (mostly JMF's salary) bothers the hell out of me. I can't stand the fact that they are some of you who think he's a saint. There is no way in the world any person in a poor district would get a salary like his..not even the President of the United States gets paid that much, JMF likes to think he runs LB..People are afraid of him, they are afraid to lose they're jobs. He's a bully and we don't people like him. People think he's doing good for our town, but for him, it comes with a "Big Price" hand washes the other. He would never do for the town if it didn't benefit him in a big way. He's not thinking about our children, he's thinking about how he can live good. He's a disgrace to all humanity and he will see that this ride he's on will end real soon. The State is finally on to his "BS" and they will take him down or he will be forced to resign..

Anonymous said...

Two things that could be done right away that would help cut costs in the schools are

1) Eliminate those that do not live in Long Branch and send their kids to the district, especially the pre-school. Everyone who has a relative in LB & finds a way to send their kids to the FREE pre-school & when thats over they send their kids back to their own distict.
2)Eliminate the perk that teachers can let their children attend the district for free. Again, most of them will utilize the pre-school and then not send their kids after that, because they would much rather have their children in the nicer, cozer districts they probably live in. They just saved lots of money in day care for two years while tax payers paid for more children that don't live here to attend the districts free pre-school.

2 major ways to cut costs. But again no one votes or stands up to the BOE on these issues, so our taxes go up and more and more kids that live here and don't pay taxes attend our schools. Something to think about.....

Anonymous said...

Every secretary in LB schools KNOWS for a fact that there are at least two to three hundred (possibly more) students that attend our schools and do not live in town. They come in for the free preschool, which by the way lets them start at age 2-1/2, right thru all-day kindergarten, with free breakfast, before and after school care. Let's see, at $10,000.00 or so per! Where's our "visionary' now?? Certainly not looking out for YOU!!

Anonymous said...

What voice do parents have to put an end to him.. The BOE is clearly fearful of expressing their opinions, foresight and perhaps displeasure...countless parents are disturbed with how our schools and staff are run and/or placed. It's out of their control.. the "The Almighty Ferraina" demands, they ask how high.. Does it make sense? Just when the princpal/vp/counselors/ facilitators/teachers,etc.. get familiarized with the student body, staff, parent body, etc... you move on back to square one, come the new school year. How can you expect one to optimize their potentional when you don't give them a long enough of an opportunity... all for the sake of avoiding "cliques" and/or favoritism. Too many politics... Has the BOE pondered the affects these changes bring to our children? Here's one... WHAT OTHER DISTRICT HAS A PICTURE OF THIER SUPERITENDANT IN EACH CLASS ROOM???? He isnt a G-d or anything to worship.. He's a man who for the lack of a better word mismanages our schools..and as a result we are looked down upon by other districts/towns. I will say LB Schools offer a great deal of resources. However, it lacks unity & leadership. We have surrounding towns pulling up in their fancy Range Rovers and Mercedes with stickers from Oceanport, Monmouth Beach..etc.. taking up space and advanatage of our early childhood program, meanwhile.. they use a friends LB address and get around the system.. Pre-K Classes are over crowded..wonder why?

Getting Furious as I can go on and on..

Anonymous said...

#1-federal taxes pays for the pre-school. Since Long Branch is considered an Abbott district, millions of federal dollars comes into the district to pay for services such as the pre-school.

#2-Anyone ever talk to a LB teacher or secretary? Rest assure, they spend endless hours in Long Branch. If they aren't preparing to teach to the NJ ASK, then they are after school by force...made to volunteer at a Wave of Hope event or were coerced into coaching or tutoring after school for a small price. These teachers definitely deserve to put their kids into the LB preschool that is funded mostly by federal money.

#3-Anyone ever thought about working together with the teachers' unions in Long Branch? I am sure they are as frustrated with JMF as the public is. I'm sure if the unions had the support of the public, we may be able to accomplish something. There are two unions in the district.

I notice that there is a lot of talk on here about people wanting JMF out...but no one has mentioned what they plan to do as a tax payer of Long Branch. JMF knows a lot of people and I am sure this will all blow over for him. Then, 2-3 years from now, he will walk with a retirement package that will top all.

One blogger mentioned the atmosphere in the district. Principals run the school by fear. They use intimidation tactics and threaten job status if a teacher chooses to voice a concern. One name: Alford Freeman in the high school. The quality of principals hired are very poor.

Another blogger choose to remaim anonymous because of fear for his friends who work in the district. Its amazing how many teachers are transferred. I am 100% sure that these transfers were not voluntary.

How do we get him out? Do we want him out? JMF has been given the upper hand at all times. Tax payers need to get in with the teacher unions and take some control back.

anonymous said...

Hey Monmouth Beach! 1. You are an educator or administrator in LB right? 2. Couldn't he do all the same 'wonderful' things for$250.000?
(BTW, No, I'm not in the school system)

Letting the teachers bring their kids to LB makes them better teachers and verifies their faith in the school system. Leave them alone.